Populism

Does democratic discontent foster support for challenger parties?

Does democratic discontent foster support for challenger parties?

Established parties across Europe are being challenged by the growth in new parties on the left and right. To assess the extent to which support for challenger parties is a result of dissatisfaction with existing democratic practices, Enrique Hernández has developed a model to distinguish different forms of democratic discontent. He finds that the specific focus of a voter’s democratic discontent shapes their support for these parties, and that this varies between left- and right-wing challenger parties.

Understanding populism: what role do crises play in the growth of Euroscepticism?

Understanding populism: what role do crises play in the growth of Euroscepticism?

Three distinct crises have hit the European Union in the last decade: the Great Recession, the migration crisis and Brexit. As Andrea L. P. Pirro explains, there has been a widespread assumption that populist parties with Eurosceptic profiles have been the main political beneficiaries from these crises. But there still remains much to be understood about what populists make out of such crises, as well as their impact on Euroscepticism.

Collateral damage or a direct hit? Democratic ideals in the age of Trump

Collateral damage or a direct hit? Democratic ideals in the age of Trump

How robust are American democratic institutions under Trump’s presidency? Jennifer Earl argues that, even if his actions and lies do not amount to a coordinated effort to undermine democracy, the effect will be to systematically weaken the institutions of US democracy in the long term.

Is Twitter a populist paradise?

Is Twitter a populist paradise?

A prominent social media presence is typically seen as critical to the success of populist politicians. However, Kristof Jacobs and Niels Spierings find that in the key case of the Netherlands, populist politicians were slower to adopt Twitter and engage with fewer people on it, seemingly preferring instead to stick to their own echo chamber.

On the affinities (and differences) between populism and a belief in conspiracy theories

On the affinities (and differences) between populism and a belief in conspiracy theories

Populist rhetorics and conspiracy theories share common traits: both portray a manipulative and secretive elite that govern in their own self-interest. Bruno Castanho Silva, Federico Vegetti and Levente Littvay find that belief in particular forms of conspiracy, though not all, go hand in hand with populist attitudes, which has implications for political trust.

Nativists are populists and not liberals

Nativists are populists and not liberals

Along with the growth of populist and anti-system parties there has been an explosion in academic research on how to categorise them. Ben Margulies argues that there is not a simple dichotomy between liberalism and populism. Since liberalism requires a commitment to a full range of principles, such as universal rights and anti-racism, nativist parties are also not liberals, even if they sometimes defend their policies with reference to liberal norms.

What makes nativists and populists distinct?  

What makes nativists and populists distinct?  

With the growth of insurgent political parties that challenge the status quo, scholars are presented with a dilemma about how to categorise them. Takis S Pappas argues that nativist and populist parties are two distinct categories, and offers a set of criteria for classification.

Populism may well be inevitable in democracies, but it is also the cause of democratic disenchantment

Populism may well be inevitable in democracies, but it is also the cause of democratic disenchantment

Much has been written about populism and its move to the mainstream. Stephane Wolton and Carlo Prato argue that it has arisen, not so much from democratic dissatisfaction but from voters’ demands for reform, which leads politicians to engage opportunistically in a form of populism by campaigning on reformist agendas regardless of their ability to successfully carry them out. 

How to tackle populism: Macron vs Kurz

How to tackle populism: Macron vs Kurz

This time last year, things did not look pretty for the EU, writes Michael Cottakis. Marine Le Pen topped the polls in France spreading fears over Frexit, Geert Wilders had crept clear of his challengers in the Netherlands, and EU officials glanced worriedly at an Austria dealing with its own far-right challenge. In all three cases, the populist challenge fell short, but with more key elections on the calendar for 2018, what lessons can be drawn by those seeking to tackle populism?

We don’t know how democracies die

We don’t know how democracies die

Since the election of Donald Trump, many have expressed their concern that the United States could slip into an authoritarian backslide. Emily Holland and Hadas Aron react to this claim, most notably asserted in Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s new book, ‘How Democracies Die’, noting that the decline of one of the most stable, long-lasting democracies in the world can only be compared to the decline of other lasting, consolidated democracies, of which there are none.